AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass Amherst has been the target of yet another hate crime.
Homophobic slurs, as well as a swastika, were found on a student’s dorm room door Tuesday. This time it was found in the John Quincy Adams residence hall.
The student was not present when the images were discovered.
Campus police have begun looking into the incident, reviewing security footage as well as interviewing witnesses.
“It’s a terrible thing,” Freshman Oliver Asaker said. “I think it’s just a few stupid students doing some stupid actions. Hopefully in the future this doesn’t happen anymore.”
This is the third hate crime to be committed in the last couple months on campus.
Last Thursday, someone wrote the N-word on an anti-racist poster in Melville Hall. Earlier in September, a racial slur was found written on a residence hall bathroom mirror.
The university launched the “Hate Has No Home” at UMass campaign in August 2017 to help engage students in positive behavior.
An email has been sent to students by the Chancellor, to make them aware of the incident. The full email is below:
Dear Campus Community,
It saddens me to inform you that once again our community has been victimized by a cowardly act of bigotry and hate. Earlier today, a student in John Quincy Adams residence hall was targeted when the door to the student’s room was defaced with homophobic and transphobic slurs and a swastika. Residence hall staff have reached out to the victim, who was not present when the hateful images were discovered, and offered support. Resources will also be provided to JQA residents who will be asked to attend a hall meeting this evening. Additionally, UMass Police have launched an investigation and have begun reviewing surveillance footage, analyzing data from key-card readers, and interviewing witnesses.
Too often this semester, I have shared with you a message like this, condemning acts of hate. I do so because it is important that those individuals who are the objects of such bigotry know that they are not alone – that every one of us who cherishes the rich diversity of our community stands with them and rejects the hatred spewed by a handful of anonymous cowards.
The words and symbols that the perpetrator of this latest incident chose, while targeted at one person, are an assault on all transgender, gay and Jewish members of our community and are clearly intended to intimidate. Let us not be intimidated. We must stand united in opposition to such ignorance and hatred and remain firm in our commitment to fostering a community of caring, inclusion and tolerance.
If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to access important university resources.